Tux, the Linux penguin
Tux, the Linux penguin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
tcsh and sh shell windows on a Mac OS X desktop..
tcsh and sh shell windows on a Mac OS X desktop.


The various flavours of Linux are Ubuntu, Puppy Linux, fedora, etc. are the various flavours of Linux.

As to begin with what exactly is Linux, let’s keep it in a short and simple by saying Linux is a derivative of UNIX.

Which of course was an open source OS.

So what exactly is a Unix OS how does it work and what are its backgrounds as one may ask …no wonder there are many books written in a descriptive manner giving a deep insight about the topic.

Given as a matter of time and discussion no one really has enough time to go through this stuff and make really good use of it .Let alone the point of shortlisting the actual stuff from those that are written for the sake of reading.

Therefore we made the matter short and simple by giving few points to help you get up and running, and yes of course get your facts cleared about the subject.

Brief background on the Linux /Unix OS.

The Unix OS system can be broken down into three main parts

1. The scheduler.

2. The file system.

3.  The shell.

1. The scheduler

The UNIX scheduler is a program that helps in allowing more than one person to use the computer at the same time.

The scheduler helps in sharing every piece of the available resources to different users at a same period of time.For e.g. three users a, b, c are logged into the UNIX system at the same instance of time. The UNIX system will take the respective programs the users wants to run from the system disk, and allocates it to the computer’s memory. In this way the programs are converted to processes.

The scheduler does the work of keeping the processes running in accordance to the time it’s being used, and prioritize it accordingly for computational purposes.

2. The File system

In its simplest form, a file system is a collection of files on a stored device, usually a disk.The file system is further categorised into directories; they are considered as “folders” that keep the things in order …kinda tabbed.

This procedure keeps the things simple for the CPU to search and get the required files.

3. The Shell

The shell is considered as the command interpreter. It’s a program that sits between you and system, forming a shell around the computer, trying to perform various operations depending upon what you type in.

The Shell is user independent, as for every user there is a dedicated shell for it to operate


penguin Tux, the Linux Mascot
penguin Tux, the Linux Mascot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What exactly is Linux…..,what is its background, hows its different from Windows OS,Whats the difference ,etc might be the question that pops up into a mind of a novice….computer programmer.

well keeping the things simple it”s classified as follows

1)Linux is said to be the derivative of  UNIX.

2)It’s an Open source OS ….(loosely translated )FREE. (free as in a beer,FREE as a bird .)

its backed up by group of individuals/community who promotes the creation of software that is not proprietary, thus resulting in lower costs.

Many people still believe that learning Linux is difficult, or that only experts can understand how a Linux system works.

Though there is a lot of free documentation available, the documentation is widely scattered on the Web, and often confusing, since it is usually oriented toward experienced UNIX or Linux users.

Today, thanks to the advancements in development, Linux has grown in popularity both at home and at work. The goal of this guide is to show people of all ages that Linux can be simple and fun, and used for all kinds of purposes.

P.S the difference between a windows and Linux is described in another post